Hans Knappertsbusch (1888-1965) made all the recordings on this compilation during the last ten years of his life. His interpretations of Wagner are characterised by a majestic, reverent solemnity, and derive directly from the old school of the Bayreuth veterans Hans Richter, to whom the young K. was assistant conductor at the Bayreuth festivals between 1910 and 1912. The Vienna Philharmonic, Knappertsbusch’s orchestra on the present recordings, had worked with him since the 1930s and were familiar with his idiosyncratic style. He attached little importance to detailed rehearsals in which works were played through repeatedly, preferring instead to rely on the experience and musicality of the individual members of the orchestra, as well as on the inspiration of the moment. His Kundry in the Parsifal excerpt is the legendary Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962), the leading Wagner soprano of the 30s and 40s. Although she had retired from the stage when this recording studios right up to her death, thanks to her remarkably powerful voice, which she retained well into her later years. Her warm, motherly tone is ideally suited to Kundry’s narration (‘I saw the child at its mother’s breast’). The soloists in the excerpts from Die Walker and Tristan belong to a later generation. The Renowned American bass-baritone George London (1920-1984) had sung Amfortas under Knappertsbusch at the 1951 production of Parsifal at Bayreuth and recorded a Wagner recital with him in 1958. The Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) became a worthy successor to Flagstaff in the dramatic repertoire. Isolde was become one of her strongest roles, and she recorded excerpts from it for the first time in 1960 under Knappertsbusch. END

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883) – Famous Orchestral Works
    Click to activate the English subtitles for the presentation (00:00–02:14)
    Götterdämmerung
    I.Morgendämmerung und Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt / Vorspiel (00:00)
    Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine journey / Prologue
    L’Aube et le voyage de Siegfried sur le Rhin / Prologue
    II.Siegfrieds Trauermarsch / 3.Akt (12:34)
    Siegfried’s funeral march / Act Three
    Marche funèbre de Siegfried / Acte trois

    Die Walküre
    ‘’Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind !’’ (20:04)
    Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber / 3.Akt
    Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music
    L’Adieu de Wotan et le miracle du feu
    Wotan : George London

    Parsifal
    ‘’Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust’’ (37:41)
    Kundrys Erzählung / Kundry’s narration 2.Akt

    Tristan und Isolde
    I.Vorspiel zum 1.Akt (43:31)
    II.’’Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden! 1.Akt (53:39)
    III.’’Mild und leise, wie er lächelt’’ (1:15:15)
    Isoldes Liebestod, 3.Akt
    Mort d’Isolde
    Isolde : Birgit Nilsson / Brangäne : Grace Hoffman

    Wiener Philharmoniker
    Hans KNAPPERTSBUSCH
    Recorded in 1956,58-60
    New mastering in 2018 by AB for CMRR

    Hans Knappertsbusch (1888-1965) a réalisé tous les enregistrements de cette compilation au cours des dix dernières années de sa vie. Ses interprétations de Wagner sont caractérisées par une solennité majestueuse et respectueuse et proviennent directement de la vieille école des vétérans de Bayreuth dirigé par Hans Richter, pour qui le jeune K. était chef d'orchestre assistant aux festivals de Bayreuth entre 1910 et 1912.

    La Philharmonie de Vienne, l'orchestre de Knappertsbusch sur les présents enregistrements, travaillait avec lui depuis les années 1930 et connaissait son style particulier. Il n'accordait que peu d'importance aux répétitions détaillées au cours desquelles les œuvres étaient jouées à plusieurs reprises, préférant s'en remettre à l'expérience et à la musicalité des différents membres de l'orchestre, ainsi qu'à l'inspiration du moment.

    Sa 'Kundry' dans l'extrait Parsifal est la légendaire Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962), la soprano Wagnérienne la plus en vue des années 30 et 40. Bien qu'elle se soit retirée de la scène après cet enregistrement studio, elle conservera sa voix remarquablement puissante, jusqu'à la fin de sa vie. Son ton chaleureux et maternel convient parfaitement à la narration de Kundry (" J'ai vu l'enfant au sein de sa mère ").

    Les solistes des extraits de Die Walker et Tristan appartiennent à une génération plus tardive. Le baryton-basse américain renommé George London (1920-1984) avait chanté 'Amfortas' sous la direction de Knappertsbusch lors de la production de Parsifal à Bayreuth en 1951 et avait enregistré avec lui un récital de Wagner en 1958. La soprano suédoise Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) est devenue un digne successeur de Flagstaff dans le répertoire dramatique. 'Isolde' est devenu l'un de ses rôles les plus forts, dont elle a enregistré des extraits pour la première fois en 1960 sous la direction de Knappertsbusch.

    Richard Wagner PLAYLIST (reference recordings) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWXNUADhMzo&list=PL3UZpQL9LIxMleWmzrxmYsjeUJ6MUdM3-&index=2

  2. perhaps some of the best … but the orchestral works with Klemperer and the Phil I think are better. They have more of this glory …. just compare his Siegfried Trauermarsch to Knappertsbusch, it surpassses

  3. Tout simplement magnifique. Même les extraits de Furtwangler ne sont pas à ce niveau ( c'est peut être lié à la prise de son ) ! En plus de Knappertsbusch et du VPO Flagstadt et Nilsson sont extraordinaires ! Que dire de plus !

  4. Knappertsbusch is among my earliest introductions to Wagner (50’s-60’s). After attending Wagner live, especially after a full Ring cycle, interpretation became a matter of how the dramatic lines and scenes held together- my impression of the whole as well as this or that scene or character. Of course, I have my preferences when it comes to spinning up an LP or disc for this or that Overature or Aria but I have become reticent above patching together interpretations as if they could amount to a satisfying afternoon or evening at the opera house. No harm in having favorites. I have them, too. I’d prefer hearing a performance beginning to end and see how I’d judge how the evening hung together. How satisfying was the approach and execution. That said, a sincere thanks for the glimpses of greatness and the history behind K’s approach to Wagner.

  5. Greetings From Mumbai, India. I am a Great Fan Of Your Classical Music Uploads. I am so grateful that there are people like you in this world that take such a lot of trouble to provide these Classics to us. I am a Great Fan Of The Master Works of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Haydn, Bach, Liszt, Dvorak, and Prokofiev. I love in particular Mozart's Piano Sonatas, Mozart's Violin Sonatas, and specially Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.

    I was born and raised in India on the Masterworks of Mozart and Co.

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    P.S.- Wagner's Orchestral Works are a Joy for me to listen to. Please continue to provide this fabulous music to us. It is much appreciated.

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